Consider The Lilies


O’Connell Street, Dublin yesterday


Daniel’s walking companion, historian Donal Fallon writes:

Yesterday I walked into the city ( within my 5km) and met a friend who did likewise (within his). We do this most weeks for exercise. As it was Easter we walked the city to the various sites. We decided to leave lilies, from a convenience shop on O’Connell Street, at the GPO.

Both of us were then approached by Gardai and had our details taken. We were exercising, within our 5km. People live in tiny apartments and need to get out and walk. The ability to go for walks is just about all that has kept me sane.

I’ve (mostly) supported the public health restrictions. I’ve tried my best and raised about 10k for hospitals and hospices despite my own livelihood being affected like many others. Dan likewise has done good. I’ve not seen my parents in 4 months. I’ve stayed within 5km. People are trying really hard. I see almost nobody.

Something changed in how this has all been policed since January. When you break absolutely no restrictions, but are made to feel like you have done something wrong, it is upsetting. It’s happening everyday to people.

I have tremendous respect for everyone working through this – as the son of a retired firefighter and care nurse I’m conscious of the stress all frontline workers would be under. But the atmosphere has to change. Most people are just trying their best, including us.

I think the bit that upsets me most about this is that what we did was a very simple little gesture. People are doing their best across Ireland, from care home workers to shop staff. A few lilies at the GPO just meant something would be marked even in this tough year.

Top pic: 1916 Easter Rising Tour

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35 thoughts on “Consider The Lilies

  1. Charger Salmons

    The writer has my sympathy but forgets the basic rule of An Garda Siochana.
    Recruit the dumbest cadets you can find then gradually remove the tiniest scintilla of intelligence that God gave them replacing it instead with a uniform and a matching gormless look.
    CSI Roscommon they ain’t.

    1. Charlie

      That’s gas. Not only are the U.K. police notorious for battering people but watching ‘News at 10’ this evening about how women within the police force in the U.K. are treated like dirt by many of their male counterparts.
      This was followed by a report from the IMF that they expect the U.K. economy to be the last to recover to it’s pre Covid economic level. Late 2022, early 2023 by all accounts and that’s an optimistic prediction. Much of this is due to it’s major drop in trade with the EU. Vaccine, schmacine.

  2. Tony

    Those Gardaí were totally in the wrong if this scenario actually happened exactly as described. There’s always going to be a few power-crazy psychos. Unless someone was taking the piss here. So hard to tell.

  3. gallantman

    I think it’s safe to say that the relationship between the Gardai and the general public in this country will never be the same again. They got given extraordinary powers and consistently abused them

  4. eoin

    It’s just been revealed that the UK had intentions for a covid passport planned since last year. Why do I get the strong feeling that none of this has anything to do with a virus anymore. I’m starting to wonder if any of this ever had anything to do with a virus in fact.

    1. Charger Salmons

      That’s a bit harsh.
      The ones I meet are not the brightest and they always back down if you bamboozle them with common sense and facts.
      But on arrival at Templemore they quickly understand that Paddy is a compliant sort who is easily overawed by authority.
      The Tans did it for 800 years, then the Catholic Church with the help of the pigs took over the reigns before handing them over to the EU years ago.

      1. Gabby

        “The Tans did it for 800 years…” A sentence beginning with such historical anachronism does not earn my credibility.

  5. spud

    If being asked for your details during this pandemic is ‘upsetting’, you really shouldn’t go out much.

    I’m stopped most days at checkpoints, and the Guards are always very plesent and wave and say hello to my young son in the back.
    I got chatting to another young Gard out walking and she said morale in the station is rock bottom. The official report may be of fines being issued, but they all know they wont get paid / stand up in court.

    You’ll always come across some eejits in any job.
    For the most part, our front line staff are doing a hard and thankless job.

    1. Tinytim

      I accidentally laughed in the face of on garda at the kilmainham checkpoint. I was on a 50cc scooter that can do 46kph. He stopped me and and asked if I had come far.. hence my guttural laughter followed by “on this?!”

      He too saw the funny side and waved me off with a “yeah fair ‘nuff”

  6. Leapleg

    I agree with the writer, the policing in the city centre has seemed heavy handed at times. Then it can seem light touch among the more shifty denizens. I have seen the riot squad threaten younger people around South William Street and the Canal, but north quays at CHQ or at Wolfe Tone Park serm to be policing free zones…

  7. K. Cavan

    The very worst sort of people to have dealings with are criminal types, it’s no coincidence that the next worst are the police. I know some detectives & some people in the Dept of Justice & they are pretty scathing in their opinions of the mental abilities of the uniform plods. “What’s the ambition of the average Guard?” they ask. “Stay dry” is the answer, it’s an institutional joke that everyone in Justice will have heard. As soon as you move the goalposts, change laws & so on, they’ll be running around the wrong pitch, backwards. We’ve been living under virtual Martial Law for most of the last year & it’s been way beyond the ability of our police force to manage that in a mature & rational manner. The appalling state of the upper echelons of the force has been exposed recently, by a couple of whistleblowers who were not even targeting them, it’s little surprise to discover that the rot goes all the way down.

  8. Daisy Chainsaw

    Public streets and national monuments should be easily accessible without having to submit to the third degree, lockdown or not. Unfortunately that’s been spoiled due to the actions of anti lockdown protests led by racists and conspiraloons. The GPO has long been a rallying point for these ratlicker rallies so the Gardai are on alert to stop protesters gathering and getting violent again and this prevents people with a genuine love of Irish history paying respects.

    1. E'Matty

      Actually, this incident is directly due to the actions and behaviour of people like you Daisy who have acted as committed cheerleaders for these authoritarian powers. The idiots always think the authoritarian measures will only ever be used as claimed at the start, and never improperly, and that they would therefore never be subject to them unfairly. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. You lot have been determind to hand over as much power as possible to the State this past year. Is there any Constitutional Right or Freedom you wouldn’t just hand over if they told you it would “reduce Covid cases”? People with a genuine love of Irish history, you say? You’re the West Brits handing out tea and sandwiches to the squaddies marching from Kingston Harbour into town about 125 years ago. Those ratlickers you adore so much are the lads sitting waiting at Mount Street bridge.

    2. U N M U T U A L

      Would it be true to say that “our” public streets and monuments are accessible to all of us because of a group of conspirisists whose original rallying point was the gpo.?

        1. E'Matty

          Eh, the men and women who conspired to overthrow British Rule in Ireland. I don’t think Daisy actually knows what a conspiracy is. Not the brightest spark on here anyway.

          1. Daisy Chainsaw

            Can you imagine Collins standing side by side with ratlickers like Heasman, Deeee, Gemma, An Pairti Nazi or the adrenachrome loopers in Health Freedom Ireland

            The men and women of 1916 would had dealt with these racist, conspiraloons as the hateful traitors they are.

          2. U N M U T U A L

            Rominik above mentions papers citizen…
            Maybe it should be paper citizens,
            Citizens in name only?
            Would that be more to your licking?

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